14 January 2022

Flooding of a modern "farm"


A bitcoin-mining farm, to be precise.  Image cropped for size from the one at the via, which included these comments:
It's something like a data center which mines cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. For digital mining, you need powerful graphic cards, in this image you see a lot of those graphic cards. Probably worth over $100k in total.

People dislike these mining centres because they're mostly using graphic cards made for regular consumers like pc gamers. Because of the chip shortage and the miners buying these cards in huge quantities, all powerful graphic cards are currently being priced twice as much as their original price. This angers the gaming community because it has been 2 years since new gaming PC's were actually worth its price.

Bitcoin mining cannot economically be done with GPUs any more, instead they use ASICs. That means that this equipment has no other use other than mining Bitcoin.

Apart from that you are absolutely right - Bitcoin mining and maintaining the blockchain uses approximately 0.5% of the world’s power output. A typical Bitcoin transaction uses over 1544kWh - apparently equivalent to approximately 53 days of power for an average US household. As Bitcoin becomes more popular, the blockchain gets bigger, data has to be written to all computers maintaining the ledger and the power overhead will become larger…

The money actually gets spent whether you perform the transactions or not. If there were zero transactions performed for a day it would cost just as much.

It's a very odd idea to wrap your head around but the power needed to mine cryptocurrencies isn't proportional to the number of transactions, it's proportional to the cost of the tokens.

You have loads of cryptos out there which are essentially clones of bitcoin but they cost far less to mine simply because the tokens aren't worth as much.

It's even weirder than that because it's not specificlly the cost of the tokens but it would be more accurate to say that the cost is down to the block reward which at present is 6.25 bitcoins. That's about $275,000 dolllars. It's profitable to put a lot of power into mining something that is worth that much.

Other cryptos that are almost identical to bitcoin have far lower block rewards so there's not as much incentive to pump huge amounts of power and money into mining them.
Disclaimer:  I don't understand any of this...

Speculators rush to sell off their kit as Balkan state announces a crypto clampdown to ease electricity crisis."

8 comments:

  1. Every time I read about the impact of crypto, it further supports my tendency to think we are a doomed species. In any sane world, facing environmental collapse, this would be off the table in a heart beat. Well, along with about 90,000 other unnecessary human activities.

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  2. I found this https://www.singlelunch.com/2021/11/12/how-badly-is-cryptocurrency-worsening-the-chip-shortage/ enlightening on the topic. The "Proof of Waste" section has a good explanation of the core insanity.

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  3. I don't understand crypto either, but I suspect it's tulips.

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  4. Gaming ... ist das Opium des Volkes.

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  5. With the talk of using blockchain to verify all sorts of online transactions, won't that increase energy usage?

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  6. respectfully submitted:

    "it's not specificlly the cost of the tokens..." (9th paragraph)

    Specifically

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Proofreading/correcting Reddit threads is an endless and unrewarding task.

      Delete
  7. World on fire and people are selling kindling.

    ReplyDelete

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